Passages records the books I'm reading, the live music I'm hearing, and the movies I'm seeing. Every now and then I'll throw in a passage from a book I read a while back or a trailer from a old favorite movie. Occasionally, there is something that simply caught my eye. But most of it is what I'm reading and hearing and watching in real time.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Chavez Ravine

I had a 78 record album by Roy Rogers called Lore of the West. Roy and his buddies sang western songs and told western stories, all much more interesting than my life was at the time. The story had something to do with poor sheep ranchers struggling against a wicked outlaw gang that was backed up by a secret cartel of corrupt politicians, railroad interests, and greedy land speculators. The sheep ranchers lost, but the winners were contaminated and ugly. "A hard-boiled egg's always yellow inside," Roy said. I think "Chavez Ravine" is the same story, something Roy would have understood.

Ry Cooder, liner notes to Chavez Ravine (2005)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Young Skins

'The marriage was insanity.'

'The glory days,' Doran said wistfully. 'You say we had our moments, but not you. You were a good boy for so long. Sensible, abstemious. You were, Eli,sorry, that sounds like an insult but it's not. Only she could turn you out of your equilibrium. She had a knack for it.'

'Not that she meant it, I don't think,' Eli mused. 'But she did make you want to lie down in the middle of traffic, alright.'

'Was that how it felt?' Doran asked.

'That's how it feels how it felt like,' Eli said. 'But I don't know. I don't know how it was for her. At all.'

Eli took a sip of his beer, Doran a deep quaff. The barman showed no signs of resurfacing; the clock ticked on.

Colin Barrett, Young Skins (2014)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Bill Of The Century

But their commitment would not have been nearly as strong had the civil rights community and the LCCR [Leadership Conference on Civil Rights] not brought constant pressure to act; though Katzenbach then and later railed on the liberals, and though Robert Kennedy repeatedly referred to then as "sons of bitches," their work was absolutely vital in providing political cover for the administration to accept a stronger bill. If the Civil Rights Act is a landmark in the history of racial progress in America, it is also a testament to the power of ordinary citizens to band together and drive their government to move forward.

Clay Risen, The Bill Of The Century: The Epic Battle For The Civil Rights Act (2014)